Burnett an energy hub

Dr Wagner said under the 50% RET there was no need for Tarong Power Station to be retired early.
Dr Wagner said under the 50% RET there was no need for Tarong Power Station to be retired early. Katherine Morris

WITH the Coopers Gap wind farm being constructed next year, a potential solar farm in the South Burnett and Tarong Power Station, the Burnett is turning into one of Queensland's power hubs.

Griffith University researcher Dr Liam Wagner said there was a lot of potential for renewables in the South Burnett, which he believes will bring jobs.

Dr Wagner said although Tarong Power station will eventually be retried, renewable energy projects coming to the South Burnett would only create more jobs.

"It's about developing human capital in the area to construct those new projects and to maintain them,” he said.

"There is no reason why electricians can't move to a renewable energy project in the same area, I think there is going to be a big increase in renewable energy projects across Queensland and the result is going to be job growth.”

Dr Wagner said fears jobs would be lost at Stanwell due to renewables coming into the South Burnett were unfounded.

"Stanwell is a generator and a government-owned entity and they have been bidding fairly low prices already in Queensland.

"The generators run low marginal costs, low wholesale prices in Queensland and they will be able to export more power,” he said.

"We already export our power to New South Wales, this will only add to our export power as well.”

Dr Wagner said there was no reason to be opening a new coal mine in the South Burnett as it wasn't economically viable.

"Coal prices are pretty depressed and it's unlikely that a new mine in Queensland will be approved because of the infrastructure required to get it to a port,” he said.

"We are going to need high quality coal for a long time to make steel, but coal for coal-fired power stations is a waste of time.”

Dr Wagner said renewables would help remote communities have a more reliable connection to the grid.

"They have been getting a raw deal for a long time,” he said.

South Burnett

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